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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 7, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Idaho steelhead fishery worth the long drive east

Those planning on making a fall trip east to Idaho might want to pack along their fishing pole and steelhead gear.

Idaho fisheries managers are expecting another excellent steelhead return, and through Oct. 3, 134,278 steelhead have been counted at Lower Granite Dam as compared to the five-year average of 102,074 steelhead.

The fall steelhead fishing in Idaho is usually at its peak from mid-October through early December.

Here are the latest reports from the greater Idaho area:

Salmon River out of Riggins — The daily limit on the Salmon River is three hatchery steelhead.

Current run numbers indicate the steelhead season will be above average with more fish returning than the ten year average, but fewer than last year’s near-record run. The biggest fish caught last week by a Riggins area angler was Sam DeSantis of Houston, Texas who caught and released a 36-inch wild steelhead on Oct. 1 above Riggins near the Spring Bar area.

Some of the best places are north of Riggins near the White Bird area and downstream at the confluence of the Snake and Salmon Rivers. Some early steelhead have been caught on the Little Salmon River.

The Riggins Steelhead Derby is now through March 31. Cost is $5 or $25 for a season ticket.

Snake River — The steelhead season from confluence of the Clearwater, Lewiston upstream to Hells Canyon Dam is now through Dec. 31. Daily limit is three hatchery steelhead.

The Northwest’s largest Steelhead Derby is Nov. 6-13 in Lewiston, Idaho. For details go to Lewiston Steelhead Derby Web site.

Clearwater River, Orofino — The steelhead downstream from Orofino Bridge to Lewiston begins Oct. 15-Dec. 31. Daily limit is two hatchery steelhead.

For more information go to the Idaho Fish and Game Department’s Web site.

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